Random Notes from the 2008 Computers and Writing Conference

I wish I could say I was organized enough to have taken organized notes at this wonderful conference.  I can’t, I wasn’t, I didn’t.  I jotted down some VERY messy thoughts/notes on my calendar throughout the conference, and most of them I now have no idea to what they referred!  Nonetheless, I’m going to try to make at least a little bit sense out of them here, if only so I can remember some of it.

Let’s see, I have just a few very cryptic notes from Jay David Bolter’s keynote speech on May 23, 2008.  I’ll jot them down here, and maybe if someone has better notes, they can tell me why I wrote down these notes….

May 23, 2008

  • “augmented reality”
  • “YouTube as postmodern television”
  • combine physical and virtual
  • “casual gaming”
  • “locative poetry”

Then, I have some notes about books/software/other things I wanted to check out:

  1. Ian Bogust, Persuasive Games
  2. Fatworld (games created by Bogust)
  3. September 12, http://newsgaming.com (political game by Georgia Tech Student?)
  4. Jerome McGann, Radiant Technology (literature after the WWW?)
  5. Game: Facade (AR Facade), by Michael Mateas, Andrew Stern, Blair MacIntyre, Steven Dow

Hmmm, there’s also a reminder here that Charlie Lowe promised to meet me and my students via Skype sometime in the fall to talk about open source issues.  And, oh, yeah, I promised to email Kathi Yancey with information about

  1. Advertising in the 2009 Graduate Research Network program, and
  2. The Georgia Conference on Information Literacy.

Hmmm, I better do that right now.  BRB….

* * *

Okay, I’m back.  I attended a session during the afternoon about digital scholarship.  Cheryl Ball presented an interesting continuum that I drew in my notes, but I have NO idea how to draw it here….  I liked the way she contrasted print and multimodal; private and public; scholarly and creative; and social and personal.  Maybe, if anyone is reading this, they could ask her to send me a copy of her diagram to post here?  Or maybe not–it will probably be published (soon?) in the online journal, Kairos, anyway!

So, then Virginia Kuhn presented a rubric, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was a rubric for:

  • Controlling idea
  • Research component
  • form//content
  • creative realization

Anyone?  Well, luckily, I also wrote down a URL from her talk:  http://immersiveflow.org.  Hopefully, there’s more information there!  Virginia Kuhn has been working with the Institute for the Future of the Book (http://www.futureofthebook.org though the Web site appears to be down at this time–let me know if anyone can find it!), developers of Sophie (http://www.sophieproject.org/), “software for writing and reading rich media documents in a networked environment.”

So, then I attended Annette Vee’s presentation on “proceduracy” and literacy (defining literacy as technologically mediated, e.g., writing itself is a technology.  Of course, this is a subject near and dear to my heart, so I made a cryptic note to myself to try and find that TV show I saw the other day where a 65-year-old couple got cochlear implants and could hear for the first time in their lives.(1)  Although they were both extremely literate in “English” textually, in ASL, and lip reading, they were unable to even repeat what they heard (let alone understand it) when people talked if they couldn’t see their lips, even though post-op, they could now hear.  It would take years, they said, for them to develop the ability to recognize heard language.  What does this say about oral/aural literacies? 

Anyway, so Vee sees the “computer as more than just a black box” I had to think a moment about age-ism here; computers were ALWAYS beige–until recently!  This 21st century color change…. Hmmm…. How does our age reflect how we envision a “computer” in our imagination?  I have a little “game” I play with students sometimes, when I’m encouraging them to write with more concrete language, that seems apropos here.  I tell them “I see a bird.”  Then I ask them to tell me what the bird looks like, what kind of bird it is.  Finally, I tell them “I see a big, yellow bird”–and those who are old enough to remember Sesame Street (is it still around?) finally see Big Bird, too!  (No, I’m NOT on drugs…).  So, when we envision a “computer,” what do we see?  (I see a big, beige, metal and plastic monstrosity? Or I see a sleek and thin laptop? Or I see a chip implanted in someone’s brain?  Or….?)

Okay, this blog is long enough.  Maybe I’ll post more of my notes from the conference later.  Or maybe not.  🙂

1.  Dir. Irene Taylor Brodsky.  “Hear and Now.”  2007. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0912587/


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